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Angels & Blue Jays Split Day/Night Doubleheader

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Halos Offense Plays Jekyll & Hyde As Team Finds Themselves Back At .500

MLB: Game One-Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The last time the Angels played a “road” game at Angel Stadium was back on September 5, 2020 when they defeated the Houston Astros by the final of a 7-6. Due to a rainout in Dunedin, FL back on April 11, the Angels entertained the Toronto Blue Jays for a double dip on Tuesday that by the end of the night left both teams squared with a win a piece.

Game 1 (3:07 p.m.)

Following a tough luck loss in Texas last week, Chris Rodriguez shut down a powerful Toronto lineup in his return to the Angels starting rotation as an extra active roster player for the day-night doubleheader. The 23-year-old right-hander came out of the gates with back-to-back scoreless innings while stranding runners in scoring position.

Leading into the game, Justin Upton had been struggling at the dish since returning from the IL (Right low back strain) with a scarce .127 batting average (7-for-55) in 15 games. Luckily, Upton came to play in the third, delivering a clutch two-out, two-RBI Single, plating Phil Gosselin and Jose Iglesias for a 2-0 lead.

Following a third-inning RBI Double by Marcus Semien to get the Blue Jays on the board, Rodriguez squeaked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth courtesy of a dynamic defensive 5-4-3 double play against George Springer.

Rodriguez Final Line: 4 IP | 6 H | 1 ER | 2 BB | 2 K (68 Pitches - 42 Strikes)

Defense was not quite on display for Toronto’s MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the fifth as he fell victim to the sunshine overhead at Angel Stadium. Dropping an easy infield pop up against Jo Adell, scoring Iglesias and Upton, adding to the Halos lead 4-1.

The lead would quickly diminish back to one, as reliever Austin Warren yielded consecutive hits to Teoscar Hernandez (Single) and Corey Dickerson (Triple, that popped in and out of the outstretched glove of Upton in left field).

When your team needs late insurance run support, Phil “Goose” Gosselin would definitely be your man! The utility master sliced a sharp single through the left side of the infield, directly after Shohei Ohtani was intentionally walked, bringing Juan Lagares and the aforementioned Ohtani across the plate.

Closer Raisel Iglesias made quick work and shut down the teeth of the Blue Jays batting order (Guerrero Jr., Semien and Bichette) to lock up his 25th save of the season to complete a 6-3 Angels win. With this win, the Angels are back over .500 (57-56), snapping a two-game losing streak.

Game 2 (7:07 p.m.)

Angels starter Jose Suarez did not get off to the start he envisioned for the second game of the doubleheader. Within the first two batters, the Blue Jays took the lead on a flare single into right field by Vladimir Guerrero Jr., which was followed up three batters later by a Teoscar Hernandez RBI Single, giving the Blue Jays the 2-0- advantage.

Shohei Ohtani got the Angels home half of the first kicked off on an exciting note, ripping the ball down the right field line and sprinting around the bases for his fifth triple of the 2021 season. Unfortunately, Ohtani was stranded 90 feet from home as Toronto starter Ross Stripling retired David Fletcher, Phil Gosselin and Adam Eaton in order to end the frame.

Suarez settled down after a shaky first by setting down 13 of the next 15 batters he faced with five via the ground and two with strikeouts. The Blue Jays knocked Suarez out of the game in the sixth with back-to-back one-out singles. The book would close on the 23-year-old lefty after reliever Jose Quijada conceded a two-run single to Lourdes Gurriel, adding to the lead, 4-0 in favor of our neighbors to the north.

Suarez Final Line: 5.1 IP | 7 H | 4 ER | 1 BB | 2 K (88 Pitches - 56 Strikes)

The Angels offense went into a severe drought all night long with no hits between the second and sixth inning. The tide did not turn until rookie Brandon Marsh roped a single to left, putting him on base for the second time tonight (1-for-2, BB and SB). Down 4-0 in the bottom of the seventh, the Halos would bring the tying run to the plate in Ohtani with two outs and the bases loaded, but Toronto closer Jordan Romano struck out the AL MVP front runner swinging with a 99 MPH fastball in and tight.

For the 22nd time this season, the Angels fall back to a .500 record (57-57) and stand 7.5 games back of division rival Oakland A’s for the second AL Wild-Card spot. They will look to bounce back tomorrow night in game three of this four-game series as RHP Dylan Bundy will take to the hill for his third consecutive start after dominating last Thursday in Texas with 6.1 shutout innings.

Angels News & Notes

  • Juan Lagares extended his season-best hitting streak to 13 games in Game #1 (It would be snapped in Game #2, after going 0-for-3)
  • RHP Griffin Canning has been shut down for the rest of the season with a stress fracture in his lower back. Canning had been on the Triple-A Salt Lake IL since July 15
  • 1B Jared Walsh underwent tests this afternoon, but was not activated for today’s doubleheader. He is still considered day-to-day
  • Joe Maddon spoke about Mike Trout’s injured calf saying “Nothing new”. The team is waiting for him to feel good before they ramp up activity again